Fluffy Fridays have fallen by the wayside a bit as I keep up with the MOOC. This week has been a really interesting experience and in some ways, a lot of the discussions I was expecting, haven’t happened in the forums. The questions that spring to my mind when I think about measuring animal welfare clearly aren’t the questions that spring to my students’ mind.
For me this is one of the really valuable personal experiences I’m taking from the MOOC, being exposed to so many different students. I was never one of the panicking students, but I’ve had plenty of experience with them in my lectures – they’re usually doing absolutely fine anyway, but because it’s important to them they doubt themselves very quickly. Take the undergraduates who email at midnight to tell you they just realised they used the wrong word in an essay.
It’s not a problem for lecturers (until the student starts to expect that lecturers will answer emails at midnight!) but I wonder about how the panickers feel about their education – if the stress of it detracts from the experience at all? I expect this is something I should be looking up and investigating, particularly as I’ve put in to supervise some Masters students this year.
But I always assumed that it was to do with the university experience, and yet I have panicky MOOC students too – it’s a free (or, at most, $40 course), and yet people still get very worked up if they’re worried about something. I think it just goes to show that the pastoral care of students is something that all lecturers need to be involved in.
Anyway I would like to introduce you to two fellow bloggers:
Sam Hardman of Ecologica Blog blogs about animal behaviour and has been commenting over here for the last week with some really interesting resources and insights. I’m hoping he expands on one of his comments in a future blog post.
And second is ComparativelyPsyched who I met a few months ago at a science communication event. He works on some really interesting psychology research and also an excellent science communicator.
I’ll be adding both these blogs to the sideroll so I thought I should introduce them.